Masks and Social Distancing
Masks and Face Coverings
Seattle Colleges currently requires everyone on our campuses to wear a mask/face covering that fully covers the mouth and nose while in any indoor public spaces (per the governor’s higher education proclamation). Masks/face coverings are required regardless of vaccination status.
- Guidance for Wearing Masks and Evidence for Their Effectiveness
- Masking Guidance from Public Health — Seattle & King County
The only exceptions include:
- when an individual is working alone (with no chance of human interaction); they must have a face covering on-hand to put on at any time another person may enter their space.
Exceptions DO NOT include:
- situations that would result in repeated putting-on and taking-off of the face covering several times a day.
- any situation that the individual's instructor, manager, the COVID-19 site supervisor, or Health & Safety personnel directs that a covering must be worn.
- face shields without a face covering.
Note: For communication with people speaking English as a second language or those who are hearing impaired and communicate via face and body language, contact email@example.com for planning and support.
Social or physical distancing is no longer mandated at Seattle Colleges and other colleges that require vaccination, per the governor’s higher education proclamation. However, three to six feet of physical distancing is encouraged, where feasible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Meeting the Requirements of the Governor's Proclamation
The mask requirement follows the governor’s higher education proclamation.
Currently, the COVID-19 delta variant is the dominant SARS-CoV-2 strain in Washington State. For this variant, the amount of virus produced in the upper respiratory tract of an infected person is about 1000 times more than previously observed with earlier strains. This means the delta variant can transmit considerably more efficiently – from person to person – than earlier strains. It infects twice as many people when it spreads through unvaccinated groups.
To be Vaccinated
While those who have been fully-vaccinated for COVID19 have a significantly lower risk of contracting COVID-19 (including the delta variant) there are a very small percentage of COVID-19 infections occurring among the vaccinated population. These “breakthrough” cases are generally mild. And, it is extremely unlikely for a vaccinated person who experiences a breakthrough case to transmit the virus to another vaccinated individual.
However, it has been well documented that, for the delta variant, these few breakthrough cases can transmit the virus to other unvaccinated individuals. For this reason, unvaccinated people should continue to wear a face covering while around others who live outside their home. As an added control to reduce the spread, while our community achieves full-vaccination status, the State mandates that masks are to be worn in all indoor, public spaces, regardless of your vaccination status. This reduces the chance of spread to our vulnerable unvaccinated community (like children who cannot yet get vaccinated).
Remember, a “potential-exposure” is to be in physical distance of less than six feet, for 15 minutes or more, with a person who is contagious with COVID-19. It is not to pass someone in the hallway or to enter a space previosly occupied by an individual contagious with COVID-19.
Since Seattle Colleges is becoming a "fully-vaccinated campus" as per the governor's higher education proclamation, the risk of on-campus COVID-19 transmission is significantly being reduced. However, there are members of our community who cannot get vaccinated and still need to work and study to achieve their goals and needs. We need to work together as a community to protect those who cannot be vaccinated. As a vaccinated campus we have maximized our infection control power. It is considered safer to relax our physical-distancing requirements, however, there is no reason to not continue to maintain at least three feet of physical distance from others in all spaces where feasible and the colleges strongly encourage the continued practice.
No, individual staff and faculty may not waive or modify the governor’s mask mandate within their classroom or department.